Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well it's about time I updated the Blog

2007 was an action packed year! Let's see:

1. Lots of time and effort spent trying to influence the Orange County Transit Authority Board of Directors about the Counties' Paratransit service. The final result was that the position we took prevailed. The system is back on track and I think the model is one that is worthy of attention.

On time performance and the missed trip percentages are within contract specifications.

While some problems do still exist, I believe that some of the actions the OCTA has planned will really solidify the service's performance.

I have to praise the OCTA and Veolia Transportation staffs for their efforts. And I have to commend the OCTA Board of Directors for listening and acting on the concerns of Orange Counties' disabled and Seniors.

2. Three members of our Chapter (myself included) managed to be appointed to the Governors Office of Emergency Services Standardized Emergency Management Specialist (SEMS) committees representing the needs of the disabled in the event of an emergency.

First I simply have to say, "Wow that's huge!!" Think of the difference we can make. Let's face it, those of us with impairments think about things a different way. We are getting the opportunity to be in on laying the foundation rather than being an afterthought of the plan(s).

I find myself looking at disasters and emergencys through a whole different set of filters now. Following the Southern California wildfires of last fall (one of which started within 5 miles of my home); and having been in the California State Operations Center (just a coincidence) on the 2nd full day of the event I am in awe of the whole process. I wonder just how ready any of us are for the next big disaster. Big brother may not and probably will not be able to take care of us. Can we fend for ourselves? Have you cultivated your own personal network of caregivers to include you in their exit strategy!

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